Friday, April 12, 2013

Baked Buttermilk Doughnuts with a Strawberry Rhubarb Brown Butter Glaze & The Saveur Best Food Blog Awards



A bit of an extended post today, as I have some exciting and wonderful news to share. Adventures in Cooking has been nominated for Best Original Recipes at Saveur's 2013 Food Blog Awards. I was driving in my car when I found out (yes I looked down at my phone when it beeped that Brianne had tweeted me a congratulations) and I promptly freaked out and shouted with joy, alarming the many other drivers stuck next to me on the 405 southbound. I feel so honored to be nominated along with so many other talented bloggers and so grateful to have such an involved and supportive readership. You are all awesome and wonderful and reading your comments makes my life a better place to be. If you have a moment, it would mean a lot if you hopped over to the Saveur website and gave me a vote before Friday, April 19th. Thank you again for your support! I can hardly contain my excitement and plan on going out tonight and getting this sandwich to celebrate.


But yes. 'Tis spring! The poppies and columbines in my garden are in full bloom, the neighborhood smells like jasmine, and I've been spending the majority of my spare time in the garden trying to whip my slumping broccoli and brussels sprouts back into shape for a late harvest. With spring's arrival came the slightly paralyzing realization that I was running a bit behind on getting my save-the-dates sent out. I definitely could have sped up the process by printing the addresses onto the envelopes, but I love the elegance and personal touch of calligraphy, so I ended up addressing each one by hand with my nifty new calligraphy pen.


When the box of them arrived on my doorstep I could hardly contain my delight. I carefully opened the package as quickly as I could, and once the lid came off I literally jumped up and down with joy. They came out so beautifully and seeing them just made me even more excited about getting married. The save-the-dates were designed and hand painted by my incredibly talented illustrator/photographer/good friend Jade Sheldon. If you're looking for personalized wedding invitations, save-the-dates, or general custom artwork, I highly recommend checking out some of her previous illustration work on her illustration tumblr and getting in touch with her over on her blog Endlessly Enraptured. She is a dream to work with and a truly gifted artist who has experience with pretty much every illustration medium. Thank you again, Jade for doing such a wonderful job!


And after all those hours spent writing and stamping and licking and sealing, I needed a special treat after I finally dropped off the heaping stack of them at the post office. And that treat came in the form of one of my favorite simple sweets, the doughnut. I wanted to try baking them and decided to use this solid baked buttermilk doughnut recipe from the Washington Post. But I wanted to get creative with the glaze and came up with my own little springtime concoction of a few of my favorite fruity and savory flavors: strawberry, rhubarb, and brown butter.


For those of you unfamiliar with brown butter, it's butter that is cooked in a pan over medium heat until it just begins to turn light brown and starts to smell like toffee and nuts. (It tastes as amazing as it smells! I was so excited about how it tasted in this recipe that I ended up using brown butter in a savory dish that I'll be posting in a few days. I tend to get obsessed with flavors I really like, so just a head's up there will probably be even more brown butter posts in the future.) I briefly roasted the strawberries and rhubarb to help evaporate some of the excess moisture, soften them up a tad, and enhance their flavor. This combined with the brown butter, white chocolate, and confectioners sugar created my all-time hands-down favorite glaze I've ever made. I was redipping the doughnuts in the bowl of glaze as I ate them so that I could get as much glaze on them as possible. I want to make a bundt cake with this same glaze sometime in the future, or perhaps create a more solid frosting version of it for a cake, I still haven't decided. But one thing is certain...this glaze has not yet seen the last of me. And it shouldn't see the last of you, either! Seriously, go eat this. You will be a very happy and doughnut-filled individual.



Ingredients:

Baked Buttermilk Doughnuts

 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tablespoon Plus 1/2 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
5 Tablespoons Butter, melted and then cooled to room temperature
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
3/4 Cup Buttermilk

Strawberry Rhubarb Brown Butter Glaze

3 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup Strawberries, cut into halves with green caps removed
1/2 Cup Rhubarb, chopped
1/4 Cup Cream
2 Heaping Tablespoons White Chocolate Chips
3/4 Cup Confectioners Sugar
1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds, for garnish


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt on low speed until blended. Slowly drizzle in the butter and allow it to continue mixing for 3 minutes after you've poured in the butter. Then add the egg, vanilla, and buttermilk and increase the speed to medium. Allow the dough to knead for 8 minutes. Turn off the mixer, remove the bowl, cover it with a towel, and place it in a warm and dry location to rise for 1 and 1/2 hours.


While the dough is rising, you can begin making the glaze. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place the rhubarb and strawberries in a small greased oven-safe casserole dish or pan. Roast them in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove and set them aside to cool enough for handling. While they are cooling, you can make the brown butter. When browning the butter, it is best to use a stainless steel pan so that you can see the color of the butter change. Yes, I was naughty and used a black one but if you're doing this for the first time I highly recommend using a stainless steel one. Heat the butter in a small shallow frying pan over medium heat. Swirl the pan around a bit every couple minutes to help it cook evenly. Over a period of a few minutes, you'll notice the foam at the top of the butter start to change from light yellow to a dark tan. Once it reaches the dark tan stage and the butter looks light brown and golden, smell it. It should smell nutty and similar to toffee. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.


Pour the brown butter into a blender or food processor, leaving the hard burnt bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the strawberries, rhubarb, and cream and blend until a smooth puree is formed. Pour the puree into a small thick-bottomed saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly until the mixture is very warm/barely hot. Remove the pan from heat, add the white chocolate chips, and whisk until the white chocolate has melted and is completely incorporated into the mixture. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill.


While it is cooling, lightly grease the donut pan. Punch down the dough and divide it into 12 evenly-sized balls. Lightly flour them and then take a ball, poke a hole in the middle of it, and gradually shape it into a doughnut. Place it in the pan and repeat until you've ran out of dough or filled up the pan. Now let the dough rest for 30 minutes. If you only have one doughnut baking sheet that fits 6 doughnuts like myself, you don't have to let the dough rise for another 30 minutes when you put the second batch in the pan, you can just pop that tray in the oven straightaway.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. After the 30 minutes of resting has passed, put the sheet in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the doughnuts have puffed up and are firm when you poke them but still white. You don't want them to get golden brown all over because at that point they've usually puffed up too much and closed up on the signature doughnut hole. If you find that your doughnuts have puffed up too much and closed in on the hole, do not fret! You can simply cut a hole in them with a knife once they've cooled. When you dip them in the glaze you won't be able to tell the difference.


So backtracking a bit, once you remove them from the oven flip the pan over onto a wire rack and allow the doughnuts to cool completely. If you need to bake another batch of the doughnuts do so now. Once the doughnuts are completely cooled (this is important), then you can take the cooled glaze mixture out of the refrigerator.


Whisk the powdered sugar into the glaze until it is completely combined. When it comes to glazing the doughnuts, there are two options. You can drizzle the glaze over them with a spoon, or just grab them between two of your fingers and dip the top half in so it has a nice even glaze coating. Sprinkle with poppy seeds as a garnish and serve! If you have leftovers, they keep well in the fridge for a few days when wrapped well with plastic wrap.






47 comments:

  1. Yay! HUGEST congratulations! And what gorgeous wedding invites and doughnuts. All in all a seriously lovely post :-)

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    1. Thank you so much! I am so incredibly excited! I keep saying excited over and over again but that is the best way to describe how I have been feeling haha :)

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  2. Beautiful wedding announcements!
    Congratulations on your nomination.
    And! Those donuts look amazing.
    Happy weekending!

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    1. Thank you so much Natalie! I still can hardly believe it happened. You have a lovely weekend, too!

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  3. That's so awesome! Congratulations. It's only 7:00 in the morning and now I'M craving that torta, too. One of my favorite sammies, EVER. Man, I need to hunt down a good one.

    These doughnuts look and sound amazing. I just planted a rhubarb this week. I used to have one years ago and must have lost it. I can't wait to get my first harvest. As for the butter, my sister and I have decided that you could put brown butter on feces and it would taste good. She made brown butter snickerdoodles recently and holy mother were they good. One of my favorite foods ever is a simple ravioli with brown butter and basil. And a loaf of bread. And a glass (bottle) of wine. Man, I need to stop talking about food.

    I have yet to get on the yeast bandwagon - I don't know why it intimidates me - but I'm definitely gonna try the glaze on something. The bundt cake sounds like a perfect idea.

    Are you really getting married in Parkdale? Nuts. It's just so crazy to see familiar places mentioned in blog land. The save the dates look great.

    Happy weekend!

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    1. Hahaha! I like the way you and your sister think. And OMG, brown butter snickerdoodles??? I must try this immediately. I haven't tried using it in cookies before but now that I know it exists I must! Also, brownies! The list of things that would be better with brown butter is pretty much just a list of all food items.

      You should definitely try using yeast! It is really not at all complicated, all it means is that the recipe needs some extra time because the yeast has to sit and rise in the dough for an hour or two. I really love the slightly bitter taste of yeast, although you really don't taste it too much in most things, it has to be really concentrated like in Ethipian flatbread for you to get the full flavor of it.

      And yes! I am getting married in Mt Hood Parkdale, Oregon. It is so beautiful up there, the natural scenery is breathtaking. Just talking about it is making me miss Oregon...someday I will move back. Someday...

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  4. P.S. I just voted for ya.....

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  5. aargh! WOW! congratulation on the nomination, I'll just be popping over to the site to vote for you write after this. I absolutely adore your recipes, they are so incredibly creative and beautiful. I'd never heard of brown butter before now and I love the sound and look of those doughnuts, they look gorgeous with the poppy seeds sprinkled on. Your invites look spectacular too, I wish I could write like that. I hope that you have a mavelous wedding and win the blog award!
    from Emily xx

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    1. Aww thanks so much Emily! I appreciate it a lot :) I highly recommend giving this doughnut recipe a try, you will love the glaze! Or just make a couple tablespoons of browned butter and drizzle it it on whatever your favorite dish is, it will make it taste amazing, whether its sweet or savory!

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  6. A HUGE HUGE HUGE Congratulation. You SO deserve it girl. And yes I will vote for you :) Your beautiful card reminded me of my dad's calligraphy. I like that you chose to handwrite and not print it out.

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    1. Eeee! Thank you so much Kankana! It means a lot for you to say that :) I am trying to get better at calligraphy and looking into buying a dipping calligraphy pen set. If you or your Dad have any recommendations I would love to hear them!

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  7. You were driving?!?! Oops. At least you were stuck in traffic and not flying down the road at 75 miles per hour. Is 75 miles per hour even a thing in southern California? I imagine the roads constantly crawling with irritated drivers.

    Congratulations again! Recipes like this only emphasize why you deserve to win this award. Strawberries won't be good here for at least another month, but I am so excited that they are getting close! We had a couple of inches of snow last night...ick! It's all melted away now, though. Bring on the Spring!

    Those save the dates are beautiful! I like the bees :)

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    1. Thank you so much Brianne! And yes, I was driving, but very, very slowly. The traffic here is pretty much the worst.

      You should definitely try these, maybe the strawberries and rhubarb will encourage the sunshine to come over your way? I can't believe it is still snowy where you are, so crazy! I am sending warm weather vibes your way!

      I was so excited with how the save the dates came out too (I keep wanting to call them sstds but that always has a different connotation...), Jade did such a beautiful job! And hurray bees! My favorite pollinator :)

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  8. First of all, congratulations! second of all, yum! and lastly, I'm heading over to vote for you now lady!

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    1. Thanks so much Andrea! I am a very happy little lady right now haha :)

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  9. Yaaayy!! Congrats again! You deserve it, lady. :D

    These doughnuts sound way too good. I adore strawberries + rhubarb (especially roasted), and I can only imagine how amazing it is to bring brown butter into the mix. Also, it's a minor thing, but I am loving the poppy seeds sprinkled on top!

    And your save the dates are beautiful! I love that you took the time to address everything by hand (with a calligraphy pen!) too. :)

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    1. Thank you my friend! I was pretty deeply in shock when I first found out haha. But it was definitely a pleasant surprise! I really like the little poppy seeds too, they're always so cute on top of glazes and frostings :)

      And man, addressing them all was so exhausting but I am glad I did it, it just looked so much more personal and pretty that way. I'm hoping to improve my calligraphy skills by the time I have to do the actual invites haha.

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  10. I am seriously salivating at the clicks so you can imagine how tasty these cute little doughnuts must have been.Many congrats for receiving the award.

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  11. Wooooh! Congrats Eva, I was totally psyched to see your blog on there when I had a scroll through the nominees (and immediately voted for you, of course!).

    Love the calligraphy, and the doughnuts - strawberry and rhubarb are a total flavour power couple :)

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    1. Thanks Izy! I did the exact same with you, so excited and happy for you! And I love that you called strawberry and rhubarb a power couple. I thin I'm going to refer to my food pairings that way going forward :)

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  12. Congratulations on your nomination! I voted for ya - boom. Purely because these donuts look so amazing, and to reward your dedication for hand addressing so many envelopes.

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    1. Hahaha, awesome! Thank you Sarah :D My hand was quite blackened with ink and cramp-tacular after addressing all of them. I think the donuts helped them heal though :)

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  13. Save the dates are so cute! And congrats on the nomination! And these doughnuts - yes and yes! Do you deliver? Because I need these donuts for breakfast tomorrow.

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    1. Lol! I do not unfortunately, mainly because I already ate them all (so stinkin' addicting!) but the next time I make them I can always overnight a batch to you :)

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  14. Congratulations!! Your doughnuts look delicious and your photos are stunning :)

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    1. Thank you so much Rosie! I highly recommend trying the recipe, it makes such rich and tasty doughnuts.

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  15. yay for the nomination, i was going to tweet at you too but figured you already knew. YAYYYY well deserved.

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    1. Hahaha, aww thank you so so much Dervla! I could not be more excited about it, still can hardly believe it! And thank you so much for voting!

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  16. PS of course I voted for you...

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  17. these sound delish, i love the glaze!

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    1. Thank you Dina! I have been thinking about all the desserts I could use this glaze on, and the list is getting very long, indeed :)

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  18. Congratulations on your nomination!!! I understand how excited you must feel, as my blog was nominated in the Best of Gluten Free Awards in the best blog category. It is always great to have hard work pay off. And I completely understand the hard work and long hours it takes to food blog. Your blog is stunning, and your food "is" very original. I love it! Great recipe! I'll be making gluten free buttermilk donuts soon. :-)

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  19. Hi Eva. Congratulations on your nomination! That's so exciting! :)
    Also, these doughnuts look great!

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  20. A belated congratulations! Your recipes are always so mouthwatering and delectable! I'm very happy for you!

    And, as someone who's been going through the throes of wedding planning, I am loving your save the dates! I also bought a calligraphy pen and hand-addressed our save the dates, haha. And I can totally relate to the desire for personalizing the invitations - hopefully Chris and I will be able to pull something together that's half as sweet. :)

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  21. These illustrations are just amazing. Great work. Congratulations on your nomination, too. Best of luck!

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  22. you're just so stinkin' adorable. congratulations on everything, and i love the calligraphy!

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  23. Congratulations on your nomination! Good luck!! I love your site by-the-way!!!

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  24. A good time for me to discover your blog I guess :) It is instant love kind of thing. Headed to vote. xo

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  25. These doughnuts look sooo soo delightful . A rightful nomination indeed, Loving your blog. Glad that I came across !

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  26. Twitter just suggested to me I should follow you and I am so glad I clicked over to your blog! Stunning pictures and I must agree with Saveur, truly original recipes! So glad I came across your blog - will have to browse through the archives now!

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  27. Lovely dish! Would you be happy to link it in to the new Food on Friday which is all about rhubarb? This is the link . I do hope to see you there. Cheers

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  28. So I just had to search your blog for rhubarb recipes after your comment on my post! Strawberry rhubarb brown butter?? These have to be the most tempting little doughnuts I've seen. I shouldn't have decided to do this search past midnight.
    Those save-the-dates are beautiful, by the way! As a typography student, I particularly appreciate the nice touch your calligraphy adds ;)

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  29. I think it is important to go into baking donuts know that they will most definitely not take like a fried doughnut, but taste more like a muffin with a fun doughnut shape.

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